Frank Darabont, the man credited with co-creating AMC’s “The Walking Dead” TV series, has taken a huge step in his ongoing legal battle with the network. In light of new information, he’s filed a lawsuit for tens of millions of dollars.
Darabont has been locked in legal struggles with the network for years. The situation stems from his firing as showrunner during Season 2 of the hit zombie drama, which is now in its eighth season. In a previous lawsuit, he sued for $280 million claiming the network deprived him of the money he's owed per his original contract by failing to meet the terms of its agreement. AMC disagrees and litigation is ongoing.
In the new lawsuit filed Thursday in New York Supreme Court, Darabont’s attorneys claim that new findings dictate he’s owed tens of millions more on top of the $280 million. According to Variety, he feels he’s entitled to “most favored nation” treatment for his contract based on how his profit participation was calculated in relation to his co-creator, and author of “The Walking Dead” comics, Robert Kirkman.
The new findings come after Kirkman and four other executive producers on the show sued AMC themselves last summer over disputes of how the show’s profits were managed. In order for Kirkman to file his lawsuit, Deadline reports he had to attach a redacted copy of his 2009 agreement with the network, which Darabont’s lawyers were then able to compare to his. The differences, they say, are striking enough to merit the new lawsuit.
“The truth has now come out, exposing AMC’s bad faith accounting and its bad faith litigation tactics,” the new lawsuit alleges.
Darabont’s move comes after his lawsuit got him into some public relations trouble over the summer when the network released a slew of emails from the former showrunner in an effort to show the court that his firing from the series was justified.
In them, the director and showrunner used profane language, makes hyperbolic threats against his staff that the network alleges created an environment that was unacceptable. Since that time, Darabont has come forward defending his language.
“Each of these emails must be considered in context,” he told The Hollywood Reporter at the time. “They were sent during an intense and stressful two-year period of working during which I was fighting like a mother lion to protect the show from harm - not only on my own behalf but ironically also on behalf of AMC."